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Distribution of Free and Esterified Oxylipins in Cream, Cell, and Skim Fractions of Human Milk


Human milk contains oxylipins involved in infant development. Although oxylipins have been identified in whole or skim milk, their localization within human milk cream, cell, and skim fractions is not known. This study determined the distribution of free and esterified oxylipins in cream, cell, and skim fractions of human milk. Out of 72 oxylipins probed by mass-spectrometry, 42, 29, and 41 oxylipins (free or bound) were detected in cream, cell, and skim fractions, respectively. Over 90% of free and bound oxylipins were derived from linoleic acid in all milk fractions. Other oxylipins were derived from n-6 arachidonic acid and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, and n-3 alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid. Free oxylipins were more abundant in skim milk (59.9% of total oxylipins) compared to cream and cell pellet, whereas esterified oxylipins were most abundant in milk cream and cell pellets (74.9-76.9%). The heterogenous distribution of oxylipins in different fractions of human milk may regulate the guided release of these bioactive signaling molecules within infants.

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